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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there is no Covid on meat exports; Chinese claims verification – Times of India

WELLINGTON: Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern said on Monday she was confident that no meat product had been exported from the country with Covid-19, after Chinese authorities said they had detected coronavirus on its frozen beef products.
The Chinese city of Jinan said over the weekend it had found Covid-19 in beef and tripe, and on their wrappers, coming from Brazil, Bolivia and New Zealand, while that two other provincial capitals had detected it on packaging of pork from Argentina.
Ardern told a press conference that New Zealand had been informed that there had been positive tests on packaging of beef products from Argentina and that certain New Zealand products were in the same cold room where positive tests had been returned.
“We were not informed that the New Zealand products themselves had tested positive for Covid-19,” Ardern said.
“This is extremely important for New Zealand. We are confident that our products are not and are not exported with signs of Covid on them given our status as being essentially Covid free,” she added. .
New Zealand has successfully eliminated Covid-19 from the community on two occasions and currently has only 58 active cases of the virus, all in managed isolation centers. No new community cases were reported on Monday.
Ardern said authorities were seeking additional information from China, the world’s largest buyer of beef, but there had been no official clarification so far.
Authorities in Jinan, capital of east China’s Shandong Province, said on Sunday that the goods in issue were imported by a unit of Guotai International Group and Shanghai Zhongli Development Trade. They entered through the ports of Shanghai, they said.
China has stepped up testing on frozen foods after detecting the virus in imported products, triggering import bans, even though World Health Organization said the risk of catching Covid-19 from frozen food is low.

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